tv PBS News Hour PBS March 25, 2020 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
captioningponsored by wshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: a nation on the brink. as cases of covid-19 surge across the country, new york emerges as a world epicenter of the rus, and the president faces increasing pressure to nationalize production of life-saving medical equipment. then, congress and the white house move to an agreement on a $2 trillion rescue package to revive the u.s. econowe. reak down what's in, what's headed, with speakthee money is house nancy pelosi. plus, life in the emergency room. what doctors are seeing from the front lines, with the pandemic on track to overwhelm our medical infrastructure. >> we are not at all near the
>> consumer cellular. >> americacruise lines. >> supporting socialtr enepreneurs and their solutions to the world's mtro pressingems--or skollfoundatio >> the lemelson foundation. committed to improving lives through invention, in the u.s. and developing countries. on the w at lemelson.org. >> supported by the john d. and catherine macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful wod. more information at macfound.org >> and with the ongoing support of these ititutions: >> this program was made possible by the corporation for blic broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you.
thank you. >> woodruff: the united states now has more than 60,000 cases in the coronavirus pc, with more than 600 deaths.so 300 of those are in new york city, where urgent efforts are underway to cope with a burgeoning public health crisis. all of this, as a mammoth economic rescue package awaits approval in the u.s. senate. again, we begiwith this report from amna nawaz. >> nawaz: on capitol hill overnight, progress on thet. legislative fr a massive $2 trillion stimulus package for businesses and workers. the largest economic rescue measure in u.s. history was hailed aa win by democrats and republicans. >> the senate is going to stand together, act together, and pass this historic relief package
today. >> i say to the erican people, help is on the way. big help. quick help.az >> nbut in the national fight to contain and slow the virus spread? little progress so far. the number of u.s. infections and deathsontinues to soar, with much of the country under orders to stay at home.in ew york, home to more than half of all u.s. cases, governor andrew cuomo said there are some signs of hope. >> to the extent people say, "boy, these are burdensome requirements: social distancing, no restaurants, no non-essential workers," yes, they are burdensome. by the way, they are effective, and they're necessary, and theev ence suggests at this point that they have slowed the hospitalizations. and this is everything. >> nawaz: still, cuomo plans to close new york city streets to traffic and ban contact sports
e city parks, all while white tents outs bellevue hospital, all while fighting to fill a severe shortage of medil equipment. amid national shortages yesterday, attorneys general enom 16 states, including new york, urged prestrump in a letter to use the defense production act to "prioritize production of masks, respirators, and oth critical items" to fight the pandemic. testing, in the meantime, continues to expand across the country. president trump turned to south korea, where aggressive testing the virus, with a request forn help to get re tests, and personal protecte equipment for health worrs. world health organization officials issued a warning to leaders not to squander thisto opportunituppress the virus, after missing the first chance months ago.
nm>> we trust that all govts will take the appropriate actions that will manage the public health risks, which are real, but we also understand t terrible dilemmas that countries protecting economies and social systems. but we must focus on trying to stop this disease first and saving lives. >> nawaz: u.s. military installations overseas,an mewhile, have been put on high alert, as the number of minstary and the virus rava in spain, an overfof patient. beds spills into hospital hallways. the country's death toll has topped 3,400, second in the rld only to italy. >> ( translated ): we keep asking f help. the professionals that are here, geriatric specialists, cleaners, the technical staff, are giving l that we can. we are suffering a lot with this situation.aw >> n: in italy, where erlice now use drones to orsee
stay-at-home ords, a reported 300 deaths over the last 24 hours in the country's hardest- hit region of lombardy. that number is down from the previous day. india's 1.3 billion residentsga betheir 21-day nationwide lockdown to try and contain the virus, enforced by checkpoints,n patrolling police. and in the united kingdom, the heir to the britisthrone-- 71-year-old prince charles-- is the latest high-profile positive test for coronavirus. he has "mild symptoms" and is self-isolating at his scotland estate. back in the original outbreak epicenter of china's hubei province, two months of travel restrictions were eased, allowing some rail stations and airports to get back to business, and families toun e. >> ( translated ): i feel so happy that this virus didn't affect my family so much. l am so desperate to go back home now to see them there. >> nawaz: china's worst-hit area of wuhan, however, remains under
lockdown, with no plans to ease restrictions for another two weeks. for the pbs newshour, i'm na nawaz. >> woodruff: wall street rallied for most othe day, but lost much of its gains when that $2 trillion stimus plan hit a late snag in theenate. by the end, the dow jones industrial average wasp 495 points to close at 21,200. nde nasdaq fell 33 points, the s&p 500 added 28. stimulus package irn u.s.t istory, our lisa desjardi here with me from capitol hill.n so, lisa, it publicly released, but you and your team, you've seen a copy of a draft. tell us who gets what in there. >> reporter: well, this is some 900 pages, judy, so i think we're ngg to be analyzing this bill for months and maybe years to come, depending on what happens here. i want to go first to the idea of who will get whatind of help in this senate proposal. let's start right away by
looking at the rescue plan. and small businesses, now, small businesses with under 500 workers can et up to $10 million fromthe federal government. it's a loan that they will not have to repay back if they use that for their payroll then, also, let's talk about larger companies. in this deal, they would get up to 50% of their payroll covered. that is as long as they guarantee that that money will go to keeping workers, and also for those of us for most every individual american a direct payment f $1200 each,2400 per couple plus $500 for each child, all of that meant to help americans and businesses get throughw right no this partial economic shutd an. >> woodrufd, lisa, we understand one of the big hold-ups has been over the biggest companies, orlver the es. what do we understand is in there right now in that regard? >> y read through th there are a lot of limits on those compkiies. we're ta about that $500 billion fund that will go to
larger corporations, which need it. here are some of the things those companies etuld have to some requirements in this bill to get those loans. one, they would have to keep 90w of therkforce through september. then they could not have any pay raises-- and in fact, for the very top executives making millions, they might have to take a pay cut ifthey take these loans. and then also these companies in this deal would not be tiebl break any union agreements. also a quick word on airlines. they receive around $30 bilion, n d iis, that money is not a loan. that is money that they could, perhaps, give some equity back, give stocks back to the american taxpayer. he lastt was one of things worked out that airlines would get some money straight away from the treasury department to stay afloat. >> woodruff: but, lisa, with all of this, we know there are still hang-ups. what do we been what is holding this up still? >> you know, i thought we had gotten through all thtough
stuff in the last if you days, but late today, a group of republican senator senators ande republican leader, kevin mccarthy, say they are concerned about the unemployment benefitsjudy, because as we've been reporting this proposal would add $600 pere wek takeover benefit in each state. now, these replican senators have looked athat and realized that for some americans, that addition would atually meantime unemployment benefit is larger than their normal paycheck. we're talking mostlout lower income, middle-inco americans. now, they say this bill shouldn't go forward with that in it. however, those who worked out the deal, republicans and democrats and white hou officials, are all telling us state form has oofor this, that complicated, that they can't just limit this rght to income, that this was an attempt to get this money out in a crisis a quickly as possible. and, judy, tonight, it looks like they're not going to change the text of this deal. so it raises the question oft whetheese senators and a few republicans on the house side will actually tryto block or delay this deal going forward.
>> woodruff: lisa, bottom ne, a lot of people are suffering. when is this going to get done? >> that's the queson we're all waiting for. speaking to senate republican leers here tonight, they a still hoping for a vote tonight in the senate. but it is touch and go at this momentof andourse, we're waiting to see what the house thinks. house speaker nancy pelosi, i know you'll be talking to her in a few seconds, says she's optimistic but they're still ell.ewing this bill as >> woodruff: lisa desjardins reporting, as he is every day, reporting om the captol. thank you, lsa. >> woodruff: there is a lot at >> woodruff: as you could tell lot at stake in this aid package, from the health care system to basic tenets of the u.s. economy. it has been a political battle to find a bipartisan solution. at the center of those talks
for democrats, the speaker of the house. her home state of california is among the hardest hit by the coronavirus. and speaker nancy pelosi joins me now. madam spear, thank you very much for talking with us. >> hello. >> woodruff: hello. what is your understanding of the holuptill? >> well, first, let me just say that we have a allenge in our country that we haven't seen for over 100r ys. tens of thousands of peoseple-- - hundreds of people who have died. it's really a challenge to us, and the health issue is preeminent for all of us. i just want to thank our men and women who are, health care providers, first responders and the rest. they are truly or here oines. and the challenges we have to make sure they have all the personal protective equipmt that they have to do their jobs so they're not taking risks as they go into heotlp rs. and don't bring any problems
home from the office, of thepl woe. so that's so important that we can try to savbue livesalso to respect what it takes to save those lives in terms of our health care providers and first responders, firefightnd the rest. should be-- it i't in this that bill. that's still a challenge that we have, and also just getting the personal protective equipment to them. want health issue is everything. i think the hlth issue is central to the economic issue. the lives and the livelihood of the americapeople are at stake, atisk, and are uncertain at this time. so when we get to the economic side, we're veasy pl, actually, that in the last few days, the democrats in the congress performed some jujitsu on the bilhl that wasre. it was interest of from the top
towncorporate trickle down the workers, who turned it completely around to workers for the workerso bubble up, for the workers and for the families. so there are many provisions in the bill that are necessary and immediate and we hopthat the senate will take up the bill so we can bring it to the floor in the house. we are on that path until some of the republican senators objected to the $600 payatnt s there in addition to the unemployment insurance. lisa did an excellent job describing that to you. >> woodruff: i want to ask you, the argument is, as yo, kn that people will end up receiving more in unemployment benefits in some instances than they would have earn their salary. and they're saying that's a problem. it isn't a problem.. they alsoay that people get unemployment so they don't have to work. that's not true. you don't get unemployment insurance unless are you fired or unless you are furloughed. you can't just skit equity and
say, "i'm going on unemployment." the fact is, there is an imbalance in our country in income, and, therefore, the unemployment benefits, lisa described it very well. it's complicated. it's complicated to make it calibrate for every state. so just call it $600 around the country. at a time when the fact is that we we really need people to pt money in people's pockets so they can then spend, inject demand into the economy, grow the economy, and that's a good thing. >> woodruff: do you think this is going to getesolved? are democrats willing to give-- are both sides willing to give, do you think? as you kno people are suffering. th're waiting for this get done. >> we certainly would have had a higher direcpayment. we would have had more expanded family medical leave in here. we would have had thse oha rule protecting the health care workers. we would have full benefits for everyone wh gets tested. remember, we said free testing,
but we hope thee whole proced to be there. th we would have pensions in here. e are other things we want that we'll save for another day because of the urgency ofg gettis past today. among the republicans because, as lisa indicated so ably, that it is democrats and republicans iand the white house in agreemet that wshould have this $600 payment. either way, we're talking about $600. this is-- people are scared. they're in need. they have additional edoxpenses. t need to explain that to you. is passed, there's something worked out, how long before the house n get it passed? because people are waiting. are you confident you can get-u- an get te sort of-- what they call unanimous consent, ich means it moves very quickly through the house, is voted on quickly. >> no, i don't think we can get unanimous consent. i think there are a number of people working their way here,
on the republican side for sure, maybe on the democratic side, to object to unanimous consent.but. the other option is to take the vote without a recorded vote o members do not have to be present, but that we'd have to have a majority to pass the legislation. if in fact that doesn't work, then we're all prepared, ouris distind whip, mr. clyburn, and our majority leader, mr. hoyer, have prepar the way for how members would participatand that we could get the job done just in a matter of a short period of sme. we ao have the guidance of our capitol physician and the sergeant at arms to talk about how members, if they need to come back, if that is required, that they could safely payment on the floor in debate, and in voting. so we're ready. >> woodruff: i'm asking because of course waninhouse is noession right now. you would need to call members back. and, aga, the people are waiting and asking when is this
going to get done? what's t soonest you think it could be voted on? it.as soon as the senate passes theally the requirement. it began in the senate. we anticipated when they came into session at noon that they would be brnging it to the floor shortly. we were anticipating seeing thee text eain the day. but, obviously, there's some twea or glitches that ed to be resolved. but nothing assubstantive taking away a $600 benefit for people, lower income and, shall we say, low who really need that money to make ends meet, especially at this time. so this was aormula that was worked out. i'm so proud of my house democratic chairman. their wisdom, their knowledge, their experience, th strategic thinking is just dazzling, and they had a big impact worki with the snate democrats to take this bill from a corporate-oriented bill toa work-orient the bill. and part of that is to have
america's working families benefit from the resources that we're putting into the bill. >> woodruff: so just two quick questions: you are satisfied at this point with the corpor oversight in here, inspector general provisions, the ov>>sight board. hat was in our house bill. many of the things that are in the senate bll were in the house bill. and that-- yes, i'm satisfied. i itll be satisfied whe is implemented. but it is good legislation, and i'm proud of our-- i salute chairman-- leader schumer forle his greaership on this legislation and the senate democrats as well. speaking from my own house, though, i'm dazzled by my own chairman. anright now, all day-- all day, we've had all-day sessions with each chairman explaining what is in the bill an answering questions to the extent that we have that information from the other side. >> woodruff: and which reminds me, in a different regard, we're hearing from governors. they don't think there's e tnouh money re for their states.
new yok governor andrew cuomos had not enough for new york. is that something the house could fix? and what about your own state of california? >> well, we can't fix it in this bill. there's $150 billion in state stabilization funds. we wanted more. but this is not going to be the last bill. we began this request wtwo bills, eergency, emergency funding, legislation to address the emergency, testing and research and so many things. then this bill is about mitigation for the mage that is being done by the economic challenge this presents, as well as frst andremost, the health challenge. the next phase will be recovery. but none of these has ended. we will still be doing emergency and mitigation, but then going into recovery. and we need much more money for ates, and that money goes down to cities and municipalities.
so we're callg about the fed, to chairman powell, to be more generous. he told me, "think big because the interest rates are low." i'm telling him to think big and help our states because they are taking a big bite of this wormy apple, and they need much more in terms of resources. again, seeing what the fed does, and what the nature of how this grows, we're going to have to come back and put more funds in. the concerns that the governor has put forth are very well founded. >> woodruff: and just finally, so we understand what the process ishat you're looking at. there could be-- i hear you saying as a last resort, you could do remote voting. >> no, i didn't say that i never said that. i don't think we're capable-- woodruff: members could weigh in without being present. is that right >> no, what i said-- forgive me if i wasn't clear. what i said was we would take vote-- an unrecorded vote. if someone calls for a recde
vote, then we would have a process whereby members could a large number of our members want to be here, and some who can't can vote by proxy. if in time the decision is made that we should establish remote voting, that h a constitutional challenge, a technological challenge, and a security challenge that our chair of the rules committee put forth in a report just the and that may be, a some point, where we have to make aon deci but in order to go there, you have to take a vote. you have to be present to take a vote to do that. >> woodruff: but you're saying it fould be done within aew days. >> yes. it's no use having a conversation about what might happen later. what is in the here and now, and i thank you for asking, is tt we are ready. we hope that they would freeze the design-- whatever the t difference is republican side. please don't resent our lowest i paid worken erica from
getting $600 so that they can meet the needs ofr y.milies, spend the mo it's immediate. spend the money, inject demand into the economy, grow they, econnd at the same time, give people a little more confidence and less stress as thal with important health issue, health challenge that this is. wepray for those wo have lost their loved ones and those wose family are affected by all of this. we pray and thank god for our health care worker first responders, our firefighters and police officers, and emergcy services people. they are our heros in all of this, and we're grateful to them. >> woodruff: no question about it. speaker nancy pelosi. we thank you very much. >> tnk you, judy, pleasure. oo >>uff: leaders in the states that are hardest hit with covid-19 are facin choices in the face of limited
resources. louisiana governor john bel edwards sounded the alarm today, warning residents about the rapid spread of the coronavirus across his state. it now has the thirdst rate of covid-19 cases per capita. 1,800 in all. louisiana was declared a federal disaster by president trump, and it now join the ranks of new york, washington state and california. i spoke with governor edwards moments ago. governor edward, thank you very muchor joining us. listened to your news conference this afternoon, where you talked about how rapid the rise of covid-19 is in louisiana. what are you dealing with, sir? >> well, we 1,795 cases, which is on a per-capita base, the third-mo cases of any state in the country. most alarming the growth rate. we're still on a trajectory that has still nottet starteo flatten. veknow you have heard about
flattening the c we picked up 407 cases in just4 lastours. we're in a rce against time, obviously, to increase our surge capacity, so we can deliver more health care, and that involves inp.e., ventilators, staff, beds. he meantime, we're trying very hard to get people of louisiana to take very seriously and do a better job. look, most people are being very compliant. but we have to do better at social distancreg and making hat we do slow the growth in our cases. we have to flatten that curve so that we can get more time. because if we can extend the duration of the outbreak, then we have more capacity to deliver health care to the people who need it iv any gien time. that's the biggest challenge they have. it's not unlike the challenges of other governorsin other states. it's of it just happens to be in my state, and i'm armed by both the case count and the growth rate. >> woodruff: right, andiment d ask you about the kif
things that you need. but, first, do you have an understanding of why it's increasing so rapidly in your state? >> well, we don. obviously, it's alarming. but we do know that mitigatio3 works. but it on works to theegree that people practice the social distancing measus that we put in by executive order. you know, we have a stay-at-home order where only essential businesses are open and manned completely. we've closed bars and salons and beauty sofps and a numbe other businesses. only for takeout and deliveryu and drive-through. but we've got to practice better social distancing, bend that curve. and, you know, my best guess, judy, to answer your question to do with the fact that we had mardi gras here in louisiana, particularly in new orleans, and we have hundreds of thousands of people who come in. know that the first positive 13 days after fat tuesday, after
mardi gras day. so we believe those visitors sort of seeded the virus in and around new orleans.u but that's a to be done later by epidemiologists. e. woodruff: su >> when there's more data known. we're focused on going forward as beswe can. >> woodruff: governor, i heard you speaking today about there seeed that you are facing for this personal protective equipment, for ventilators.tl exwhats the shortfall right now? >>well, the shortfall, the biggest thing that we're looking at is. ventilato we're on a trajectory that given the number of new casnyes, how of those will require hospitalization, as best we can. model of that number, how many willto require venti? in the new orleans region, we're on a course that by april 2 or difficulty in getting everybody a respirator who will need one. and then every day after that,
it becomes increasingly more difficul unless, of course, we start to bend that curve. that is the single largest-- i should say most pressing issuc when ies to surging our capacity. these ventilators are very hard to come by. but we did distribute 100 today to the region. t we actually need at least 1,000. so we've got a long way to go. >> woodruf so where can you get some of this equipment? are u turning to the federal government, to other soues? where do you turn? >> well, it's really all of the above. as of now, we've been instructed to ask for, through fema, for these things, whether it's ventilators, p.p.e. to come from the national stockpile. but we're also working to source these items wherever we can, just using normal vendors. and our hospitals continue to do that as well. unfortunately, we're all rt of competing against one another, both within the state and state against state and state againstt
and the federal government. >> woodruff: would it be better, final, governor, if there were some system where this kind of equipment was handed out in systematic way, and you didn't have to compete worrying states? >> welhal, certainly, would be better. in my estimatiyoon. anwould have then a rational way to allocate, even if they'go limited, you're g to allocate those limited resources to where they're needed the most and that bear some reationship to the ovrall severity of the problem. >> woodruff: and that would come from the fnteral govern >> and that is lack ago well, i don't know where else it could come from.th and, you know is something that many governors have voiced over the last several days. i was on a conference call today with about 40 gonors, and this was-- this was the topic d jour we would really like some help. because otherwise you're left to gest beg, borrow, and steal from wherever you ca these things. and, again, you're in competition with other states. you're i competition with your
own health care providers to some agree drae. and sometimes the federalco government wil in and make a purchase, and you find out that your purchase just got canceled. and so we are asking thernederal gont to have a bigger role in this because i don't know that it gets sorted out in the short term any other way.oo but, we're not going to wait on other people to solve continulems before w to act. we're going to do everything we can as aggressively as we can source these things for ourselves and get them into louisiana,edet them distrib so they're in place to meet the needs of our people. >> woodruff: this com a tough thing to hear about. governor jon bel edwards ofsi loa. thank you so much. and we wish you the very best with all you're working on. >> thank you, judy. >> woodruff: >> woodruff: hospitals in new york state are getting hit with a crush of sick patients struling with covid-19. overall, there are more than 30,000 cases in the state, and more than 280 people have died. while the hospitalization rate
has slowed, it's still doubling every four or five days. william brangham gets view from the front lines of this health emergency. >> brangham: while many of us are locked up in our homesgeand seeing ion television of shuttered businesses andheuiet streets, is, of course, a very different scene unfolding many hospitals around t country. for a sense of what one new york city emergency room looks like, i'm joined now by dr. craig spenr. he's the director of global health in emergency medicine at columbia university medil center. doctor, thank you very much for being here.ed you poecently this incredible, visceral portrait of what one shift for you looks like in the emergency room, d i wonder if you could just give our viewers a sense of what a day looks like for you. >> yeah. thanks for having me on. generally, a day in the emergency department starts with a walk to work here york city. the streets are pretty empty, which is great. spread of this virus.o stop the
but when you cross that barrier from the street to the hospital everythingnd of transformed.nt i walka place where i've worked for nine years, and now i see my colleagues in goggles and in gowns as soon as i walk in. it's just something that you can't get used to. anthroughout the day, you know, a week ago, it used to be, we were looking for the one or two patients that might have coronavirus. now, it's hard to find one or patients in the emergenc department that don't have coronavirus. it presents as'sverything-- oung. it's old. everyone can get this virus, gnd everyone c sick from it. >> brangham: the description you gave in your dispatch was a sense of tver-ending nature of it, that it was one patient aftereanother. is ily that much of an onslaught? >> yeah. over t past couple of days, there has been an increasing volume of coronavirus patients. what's tough about them is that so many are severe. they have respiratory failure, meaning that ty are having difficulty breathing. they need assistance to help
them breathe. so that often means putting on a mechanical ventilator, putting b inathing tube and putting people on life support. we do that to give them the best chance osurviving this disease. it's really one of the only things that we can do for people. what we know now is that we are not at all near the end of this. we are really just beginning. we're seeing case numbers climb on a daily basis. the emergency departments and i.c.u.s throughout the city area being ind and overwhelmed. if this continues at this rate, it's going to be really tough for all of us, on all the health care providers, and all the patients that are coming in the emergency rooms and all thet families te impacted by this virus. >> brangham: do you have enough of the eipment? you talked about putting people onto ventilators, and i know that there's a shortage.ur overnor andrew cuomo has talked about that. do you have enough of those inpi your hl? do you have enough protective gear to protect you and your colleagues?ne >> throughouyork city, i have colleagues at nearly every
hospital. what i'm being told same. most are gen one n95 respirator a week, which is thae th kind of stronger particles more--ps filter out >> brangham: one per week? >> one per week, and are being asked to put one surgical mask over that per shift, to kind of keep it clean. that's because the supply chain is limited. we're hearing that wre getting hundreds of thousands, or millions more of these masks being sent, which is great. the problem is, is that we're going to need an estimated 3.5 billion of these masks if this pandemic continues into next year. so we really need to do something to increase capacity, whatever we can, to get masks to people on the frt line. ntilators are certainly a big concern. we know that we're short. there are really wonderful,ng creativeeering solutions for how to tn one ventilator into two for two patients. the problem is, we can't turnr them into fourght.
because we know that ventilators are the only thing tt are going to help some of these people survive. rangham: the president yesterday seemed to indicate that we were near the end of th. fight against coronavir he was hoping that perhaps byea er sunday, that we would be so far along that churches coul be pacth worshipers again. from your perspective, it sounds like you're seeing a much different trajectory tall of this. >> yeah, working in the emergency department is scary. the idea of churches packed on easter is in some sense more scary. we are just at the beginning of this. our fit case in new york city was ju over three weeks ago. to think thain three weeks we'll be in any place where we can have people inuch a small, confined area where the disease, the vis spreads so well. it's a really, really worrying. and it's only going to get worse. it's only going to get worse. >> brangham: as we've been talking, i hear there's a young
child in your familyobviously. how is it that you personally, if you're dealing with this virus and theoretically covered with this virus repeatedly throughout the day, how are you protecting your own when you come home at night? >> it's a really great question. m's something that a lot colleagues have been mulling over for weeks. some of them have faparated theily. so, it's a consideration all of my colleagues have had personally. 're just being really thoughtful about how we're cleaning, about bleaching things down, abouwhen i get making sure i remove all my clothes before coming in meately go and take a shower. i'm just being really, really thoughtful. we know that the personal protective equipment is not perfect. in addition to the physical exhaustion of long dayui the mental a of thinking with every patient: is this the time? is this a person where i become infected? we don't talk about it. we don't let ourselves be vulnerable. and i just want to shat message with my other health care colleagues throughout the ntuntry taking care of pat
you are not alone. find someone to be vulnerable with. reach t to a colleague. have those discussions. because everyone is feeling and thinking the same way as you. >> bngham: all right, dr. craig spencer, director of global health at columbia university medical center, thank you very, very much for your time, and good luck out there. >> thank you. >> woodruff: russia is the largest country on earth, spanning nine time zones.w, until he numbers of covid-19 cases there has been low, according to russia's government. lucy taylor in moscow reports, there are serious doubts about the veracity of those numbers, especially in the capital, then largest cityrope. >> reporter: in times of trouble, many russians look to the orthodox church. it's a place to ask for healing and protection. but with the spread of the virus, the closeness of this congregation could now be
putting people in danger. but far from staying away, this church is more crowdedan sual. >> ( translated ): i am not 15 years old, i have ieen some thinmy life, and i'm not really concerned.at >> ( tran ): i am convinced that it helps to have there have always arious illnesses, but sooner or later >> reporter: churches here have been ordered to clean the icons that worshippers kiss, but they haven't been asked to send people home. >> ( translated ): there are more people in the church than before. people are praying for this to end, and no e is afraid. >> reporter: shouldn the church close now, save lives? >> ( translated ): n churches should be not closed under any circumstances, i absolutely believe that. but anyone who falls ill should source of illness for otherome a people and stay away for a while. >> reporter: the number of confirmed cases in russia has been low compared to other countries.
and so, daily life for many people is going on as normal. for some, the virus is something to laugh about. this video jokes about using vodka to beat it.er but the nuf cases is rising, and doctors say it could soon become much more serious. president putin says the virus is "under control" in russia. t some people here are suspicious of the official figures. reliable, and that those numbers could be missing tens of thousands of cases.th russian doctors' alliance says the authorities are labeling cas of coronavirus as simply pneumonia. >> ( translated ): so think the number of infections is of serious illnesses, 10,000usands. who are currently suffering pneumonia. and those upn their feet are maybe 100,000 or 200,000. we simply don't know. >> reporter: the russian govement says the low figure of the coronavirus are thanks to its early action. back in february, it started
testing people of asian appearance in the streets and blocked most chinese visitors. now, the borders are csed to almost all foreigners. moscow's older people, those over 65, have been ordered t stay indoors. and all but essential workplaces wille closed for a week, fro this coming saturday. but one russian over 65 is not bound by those restrictions; president vladimir putin is 67.( translated ): thanks to the measures taken in advance, we as a whole are able to restrainid both theand rapid spread of the disease. but we must understand that russia, simply because of its geographic location, cannotlf isolate itrom the threat. near our borders are states that are already seriously affectc, by the epidendt is objectively impossible to i completely blo penetration into our country. >> reporter: the opposn accuses president putin of using the pandemic for political gain, as a reason to ban protests
against constitutional changes that would give him 12 extra years in power. a national vote has now had to be postponed. more than 100,000 pele have signed an open letter calling for more urgent action government is cleat doing nearly enough to curb the epidemic tt has already started in moscow and will spread to the regis very soon. they do some right measures, bus it clearws that they do not understand the impact the situation will have on russia. they think they can usthese half measures, like this much... but it needs to be done this much. >> reporter: but mr. putin's assurance that everything under control is putting many russians at ease. >> ( translated ): nobody knows what will happen tomorrow or after that, but at least here we don't have any signs that anything major will happen ere. >>translated ): the measures that are being taken are absolutely fine, no need for stricter restrictions. i think people should just observe good hygiene, i think the virus won't progress, everything will be okay.
>> ( translated ): i am a living person. i want to breathe oxygen. i want to see things. i want to go to a shop.y i've got to ings. i am not the type of person who'd sit at home. >> reporter: thewiirus is still ly seen here as something "foreign," but it is an illness no bias.pects no border, and has and as eacday passes, covid-19 becomes ever more russian. for the pbs newshour, i'm lucy taylor in moscow. >> woodruff: in the y's other news, the family of one-time f.b.i. agent robert levinson says u.s. officials now believe that he died in custody in iran. levinson disappeared then in 2007, onauthorized mission for the c.i.a. iran never acknowledged holding levinson. the "new york times" and others report new intelligee shows he died in the last few years.
president trump said this evening no one told him levinson dead. the trump administration escalated a war of words with china ov the coronavirus pandemic. secretary of state mike pompeo again accused beijing of concealing vital information. he also charged that chinese that the u.s. is btheng claims pandemic. separately, pompeo warned that a polifeud in afghanistan is jeopardizing peace efforts. he met in kabul this week with president ashraf ghani and rival abdullah abdullah, but failed to break their impasse over forming a government. he said today it was frustrating. >> the afghan leadership had made a set of commitments, things that they would live up to, and so far, they have not executed on that. awent there to talk to them about how we couist them on delivering on that. i'll be honest, it was very frustrating. >> woodruff: pompeo s threatened to cut $1 billion in u.s. aid to afghanistan. meanwhile, the pentagon ordered a halt to all travel and troop movement abroad, due t
coronavirus pandemic. but, it said the withdrawal of u.s. troops from afgan will continue. inabul, at least 25 people died when islamic state gunmen raided a sikh temple. the siege lasted for hours, until afghan security forces killed the attackers. later, relatives returned to the site to mourn their loved ones. >> (anslated ): the attackers arrived to the upstairs floor and started killing the women. my nephew shouted and said to me, uncle, please go downstairs, and when i wanted to go downstairs, they shot my nephew on the head. i lost many friends and my wife >> woodruff: sikhs are a tiny minority in afghanistan and have long been targeted by islamist militants. saudi arabia is being accused of torture and other crimes against civilians in yemen. human rights watch reports saud military ford their yemeni allies have committed a long the saudis are bache yemeni government against shiite
rebels who are allied with iran. prosecutors in turkey filed an indictment today against 20 saudi cizens in the murder of journalist jamal khashoggi. the "washington post" cokimnist waed at the saudi consulate in istanbul in 2018. the saudis have refused to extradite any of the suspects. back in this country, a federal judge in north dakota ordered a full environmental review of the dakota access pipeline, three years after it gan carrying oil. constructionf the pipeline near the standing rock sioux rervation set off months o protests in 2016 and 2017. the tribe wants the line shut down. and, the national recording registry is out with new inductees, includi dr. dre's debut rap album "the chronic," and "y.m.c.a." by the village people. the library of congress named 25 honorees today. others include tina turner's
"private dancer," glen campbell's "wichita lineman," and songs from "mister rogers' neighborhood." still to ce on the newshour: breaking down the white house's latest response to cov and, "songs of comfort." music to help weather a moment of crisis. >> woodruff: and this evening, president trump heldnother briefing on covid-19, this time declaring victory on the paemic aid package. we turn again to our yamiche alcindor. ndlet's turn to yamiche al who has been listening in. yamiche you know the white house has been involved in those negotiations on the hil al. whe they saying about where things stand right now?
>> well, just a few moments ago at the wte house, presiden trump said he would sign the $2 trillion coronirus bill if it was sent to him immediately. so he was urginthe house and the senate to move quickly. one thing that was remarkable, the treasury secretary, steve mnuchin said even though the $2 trillion bill would be the largest stimulus package passed by congress he said it would only keep the economy open three months. even though it is a huge bill, officials are saying ey might have to have another bill to keep the economy going. this bill, president trump is going be exempt from using any of the small-business orla e-business loans. there will be $500 billion in the bill anod democratsght and got an exemption for president trump, his resorts and hotels will not be able to use the bailout money. >> woodruff: yamiche just to be clear, even though some republicans objected to unemployment benefit language in the bill, the president is saying he's good with it?
>> that's right. treasury secretary steve mnchin said this is a bill to get people back to work. were fine with mployment benefits and we want it to go forward and the president said i will sign it immediately. >> woodruff: and then also quickly, yamiche, we know the president and others at the briefing spoke about the status of the fight against the coronavirus. >> well, the president was enaising the job that he's be doing, and he talked specifically about testing. here's what he said. >> we're also doing some very large testings throughout the country. i told you yesterdayhat in south korea-- this is not a knock in any way, because i just spoke with presidea moon. wed a very good conversation about numerous other things. b they've done a very good job in testing. but we now are doing more testing than anybody by far. we do more in eightays than they do in eight weeks.>>
ust a quick fact check here. president trump is sayin the united states is doing more testing, but south korea is six times-- is only one-sixth the population of the united states. thr're doing more testing p capita than the united states. also, the united states was slow at testing, so thiissting being ramped up. that's why we're now testing so many peple, judy. >> woodruff: important points to make. yamiche alcindor, following this very late-day briefing the ite house. yamiche. thank you. >> woodruff: finally tonight-- ma joined us to taut ant yo-yo idea he calls "songs of comfort," music to sha and help those most in need. it has l to an outpouring on social media sites, and jeffrey brown brings us some of that now, for our arts and culture series, "canvas."
♪ ♪ >> brown: yo-yo ma began h #songs of comfort project with a performance of his own... ♪ ♪ and an appeal to our audience. >> we're collecting what is personal, what is true, what is trustworthy, what is community, because community is nothing, except whais based on trust. >> brown: people of all kindsed have respo paul simon, with his classic," american tune." ♪ ♪ hamed sinno, lead singer of the lebanese band mashrou' leila. n ♪hing's gonna harm you ♪ not while i'm around
>> brown: the famed folk roc duo the indigo girls also beswered the call. ♪ it's easy truel it's better to be kind ♪ >> brown: and members of the toronto symphony orchestra found a creative way to "perform" while keeping social distance. ♪ ♪ >> brown: most of all, ordinary people all around the country, and the world, created their o musical moments. ♪ ♪ outside chicago, a woman played for her neighbors, as is happening more and more. in oma, nebraska, nine-year- old annabel blake, her father
and a family friend performed a traditional irish folk song. ♪ ♪ >> brown: a man played a song for his granddaughters, wanting them, as he wrote, "to feel good about themselves." and they d. ♪ ♪ dira sugandi wasoyful in indonesia. ♪ ♪ ♪ when i find myself in times of btrouble ♪ wn: two friends, one in ireland, the other in germany, onized on a beatles song ♪ speaking word of wisdom let it be, let it be ♪ ♪ ♪ >> brown: and from copenhagen, pianist niels lan doky shared jazz. ♪ ♪ ♪ when you're feeling low and there's no one around ♪>>
rown: perhaps most fitting-- and hopeful-- for the times: two mayo clinic doctors, in a video posted by a new fan. ♪ i'll be here when you need >> brown: just a few of the songs now being shared. r the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brown. ♪ everything, it will be all right ♪ ♪ everything, it will be all right ♪ >> woodruff: allhat talent. man, if that doesn't bring you comfort, i don't know whne does. muced. and you can post your own fering on social media platforms using the hashtag "songs of comfor" a news update before we go.cu the man d of massacring 51 people at two mosques in christchurch, new zealand last march has changed hi.plea to guil he also plead guilty to 40 attempted murder charges and
a terrorism charge. and that is the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at thes wshour, thank yo, stay safe and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> fidelity investments. >> when it comes to wireless, consumer cellular gives itsst ers the choice. our no-contract plans give you as much-- or as little-- talk, text and data as you want, and our u.s.-based customer service team is on hand to help. learn more, go to consumercellular.tv >> american cruise lines. >> bnsf railway. >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions
hello, everyone, and welcome to "amanpour & co." here's what's coming up. as the battle against vi coros ramps up around the world, former u.s. surgeon general borris lushniav warns mistakes now could have dire consequences later. and with the global economy hit hard by this pandemic, there are companies filling the void. doing well while doing good. i speak with amazon's senior ay vice president carney. then - >> think about ways you can help esth medical supp contact your cities. make partnerships. give your capabilries to y local officials. >> one college president adopts anall-school mobilization for this fight. our walt isaacso with tufts university president anthony monaco.